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August 16, 2013

White House Attempted to Rewrite Key Quotes in Washington Post Story on NSA Surveillance Violations

Obama thinks he can do your jobs better than you can too, Media.

The Washington Post's article detailing the fourth amendment abuses by the NSA got some push back from the administration who attempted to "edit" the article before publication. The internal audit referenced in the article was obtained by the WaPo from Edward Snowden. The details of the audit indicated repeated and growing privacy violations by the NSA, violations which included obtaining thousands of American citizen's communications records and using methods of information collection that were later deemed unconstitutional by a court.

The Post was able to interview John Delong, NSA director of compliance for the article and they were initially informed "DeLong and members of the NSA communications staff said he could be quoted 'by name and title' on some of his answers after an unspecified internal review." However, the WH subsequently changed their minds. The Washington Post included the following statement with their article:

The Obama administration referred all questions for this article to John DeLong, the NSA’s director of compliance, who answered questions freely in a 90-minute interview. DeLong and members of the NSA communications staff said he could be quoted “by name and title” on some of his answers after an unspecified internal review. The Post said it would not permit the editing of quotes. Two days later, White House and NSA spokesmen said that none of DeLong’s comments could be quoted on the record and sent instead a prepared statement in his name. The Post declines to accept the substitute language as quotations from DeLong. The statement is below.

I'll refer you to the link to find the New, False Interview Answers the White House sought to replace with Delong's actual answers. But essentially the White House sought to replace a candid (and damaging) interview with a pre-fabricated press release, but seems to have wished to the Washington Post to falsify the actual contents of the "interview answers."

Question:

What has the media done to indicate to the White House that such a thing is even in the ballpark of things the media would consider doing? Why would the White House have the idea that such an extraordinary thing was even ballpark of the possible?






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